Enterprise Sri Lanka expands loan scheme | Sunday Observer

Enterprise Sri Lanka expands loan scheme

Following the success of the Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary loan scheme, the Government will introduce further concessionary loans to widen the same. This would enable stakeholders to move towards next generation economic activities in their chosen fields the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media announced last week. A proposal by Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera to expand the already approved loan schemes to cover more areas had been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Accordingly, migrant workers will be given up to Rs 10 million concessionary housing loans to be repaid in 15 years with a two-year grace period, while three wheel owners would get up to Rs. 2 million to upgrade their passenger service. The Government will bear 75 percent of the interest through the Treasury in both these instances.

Though many migrant workers dream of having their own house, lack of proper guidelines and financial management has made it impossible for them to realise it.

The proposed scheme permits migrant workers registered with the Foreign Employment Bureau to save a considerable amount of their remittance in a local bank.

The novel scheme provides concessionary loans to three wheel owners to convert to a safer and comfortable mini taxi service with small cars. Three wheel owners above 35 years of age are entitled to this concessionary loan.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka concessionary loan scheme introduced under the 2017 and 2018 Budgets has been a huge success. Self-employed persons, women entrepreneurs and small and medium entrepreneurs have so far been registered for various loan schemes up to Rs 65 billion via state and private banks and Rs 36 billion in loans have been disbursed to over 34,500 persons.

As Sri Lanka’s ageing population is increasing fast, another proposal was put forward by the Minister for providing Rs 10 million with a 75 per cent interest concession to construct elderly care centres as a private sector investment.

The previous loan schemes will continue in 2019 along with the new schemes introduced. Cabinet approval has been granted to allocate Rs 700 million to pay the interest to the bank through which these loans will be channelled. The Treasury has been authorised by the Cabinet to enter into agreements with State and private banks to extend the loan scheme for 2019 as well.

The Enterprise Sri Lanka program inaugurated on June 22, 2018 consisted of 16 schemes with a special feature where the Government had undertaken to pay part or full interest amount to the relevant bank on behalf of the loan recipient .

Enterprise Sri Lanka offers attractive concessionary financing ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs.750 million to stimulate investment and expansion of business. Its benefits had already reached a wide scope of people, individual entrepreneurs, SMEs and even large businesses.